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Adult Learning Institute (ALI)

Course Schedule


Contact: [email protected],  703.537.3068; [email protected],  703.537.3066

ALI is the J’s adult lifelong learning center. Its mission is to provide intellectually stimulating, enjoyable, and engaging opportunities to expand your mind and your knowledge with other adults of all backgrounds and ages.

ALI Spring 2017 Semester

For Spring session course descriptions and to download the registration form, click here.

We are very pleased to announce that we are partnering with Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS) in Falls Church to offer ALI classes there, as well as at the J. Please note the location when registering.

Inclement Weather Policy:

If Fairfax County schools are closed, ALI classes are canceled. If schools have a delayed opening, classes will be held at the regularly scheduled time.


Registration is now open. Please take a moment to review the courses below and sign up for one (or more!) of these fabulous opportunities to continue your lifelong learning with us!

You may register at any time by submitting your registration form and payment to the JCCNV front desk.

By Mail
Mail completed registration form with payment, payable to “JCCNV,” to Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031.
By Phone
Call the JCCNV front desk at 703.323.0880 and be prepared to give a credit card number to secure your place in the course.
Register online at


Spring 2017 Courses

Persecution of Christians and Other Religious Minorities in the Muslim World
Mondays, April 24, May 1–8 (3 weeks)
Instructor: Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director of the Religious Liberty Program and the Church Alliance for a New Sudan at the Institute on Religion and Democracy

Along with Iraqi and Syrian Christians being crushed by
ISIS, Christians in Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran
and elsewhere have experienced imprisonment, torture,
persecution and, in some cases, ethnic/religious cleansing
amounting to genocide because of their faith. This course
will shed light on this critical problem and examine efforts to
deal with it by the U.S. Congress and religious freedom and
humanitarian relief organizations.
Fee: $36/ $24 J member
Code: #8125


Shortcuts to a Good Book: Using the Library’s Online Resources
Tuesday, April 25
Instructor: Mohammed Esslami, MLIS, Branch Manager, George Mason Regional Library
Get acquainted with NoveList Plus, one of the library’s online reader’s advisory databases. Whether you’re planning the next selection for your book club, or just looking for a good book for yourself, NoveList Plus is an excellent resource you
can search on your mobile device.
Fee: $18/ $12 J member
Code: #8126

One Foot in Two Worlds: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Mondays, May 1–8 (2 weeks)
Instructor: Linda Blair, Ph.D. in American Literature
This provocative memoir is set during the Iranian Revolution and transformation into the Islamic Republic, when the author was ordered to wear the veil in all public venues including her university literature classes, and all personal freedoms were
taken away. In this two-session course, we will explore the personal and professional consequences of Nafisi’s decision to continue teaching American literature to some of her students, unveiled and in the freedom of her living room. Our discussion will underscore the profound and lasting influence of literature. Handouts of passages to be discussed in class will be provided.
Fee: $24/ $16 J member
Code: #7495

The Evolution of Christianity from Judaism
Part II: How Christianity Lost Its Jewish Roots
Tuesdays, May 2–23 (4 weeks)
Instructor: John Rybicki, Biblical scholar and historian
This course will continue to trace the early development of Christianity from Judaism. It will begin with the “Cult of Christ,” a faith community within Judaism that anticipated an imminent end of the world, a belief which Jesus had ushered in with his ministry. From there, the course will follow how Jewish apocalypticism evolved into a “church” of hierarchy, doctrine, institutionalism, power and authority and, ultimately, Christianity as we know it today. Part I is not a prerequisite for Part II.
Fee: $48/ $32 J member
Code: #8127 


Solving a Literary Mystery with Edgar Allan Poe at its Heart
Tuesday, May 16

Instructor: Stuart Endick, retired attorney and avid antiquarian book collector
Book collector Stuart Endick returns to ALI to discuss how the find of a rare 1851 book in a pile of discards led him to unravel a literary mystery (several actually) involving Edgar Allan Poe and his circle of friends and enemies.
Fee: $18/ $12 J member
Code: #8128

The “Queen” of All Migrations: Jewish Immigration in the Early 20th Century
Mondays, May 22, June 5–12 (3 weeks)
(no program May 29, Memorial Day)
Location: Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church
Instructor: Lauren B. Strauss, Ph.D., Scholar in Residence, Dep’t of History, American University
This three-part course will cover the most sweeping migration in Jewish history, whose implications for world Jewry rival that of the original exile of the Jews to ancient Babylonia. From the last quarter of the 19th century through the early 1920s, European Jewry moved westward on an unprecedented scale. We will examine the major reasons for the flight of East European Jews from the Pale of Settlement,
the trials and tribulations of the journey west, the impact of increasingly restrictive immigration policies — especially in the United States — and the international response to the Jewish immigration crisis of the 1930s and 40s. One of the most fascinating and little-known details of this story — the warm reception of WWII-era Jews by the British ocean liner the Queen Mary—even has a surprising tie to today’s
Northern Virginia Jewish community.
Fee: $54/ $45 J members and Temple Rodef Shalom
Code: #8129
*Temple Rodef Shalom members, please enter promo code TRSMEM1 on the cart payment screen for online registration.

NEW SERIES! Israel Now
This is the first installment of an occasional series exploring life in contemporary Israel.
Israel Now, Part I: Impact of the Trump Administration on Israel and U.S.-Israeli
Israel Now, Part II: Building for the Future of the Galilee
Tuesdays, June 6–13 (2 weeks)
Instructors: Kenneth J. Krupsky, Esq., and Baruch A. Fellner,
Esq., National Board Members, Jewish National Fund—USA
This new series will enlighten you on what life is like in Israel today, and issues currently facing the Jewish state. The first session will be a nonpartisan review of principal developments over the Trump administration’s first six months and how they affect Israel and U.S.-Israeli relations. The second session will highlight exciting new initiatives to deal with the challenges of overpopulation and affordable housing shortages in Israel’s economic, commercial and cultural hub—the Jerusalem/Tel Aviv/Haifa triangle.
Fee: $24/ $16 J members
Code: #8130


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8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

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